Hyundai un­leashes 202kW i30 N hot hatch

The Star Early Edition - - MOTORING - MO­TOR­ING STAFF

IT’S BEEN a long wait but here it is folks... Hyundai has fi­nally cre­ated a proper hot hatch to take on Golf GTI, Fo­cus ST, Me­gane RS and en­e­mies.

The new i30 N also hap­pens to be the first Hyundai to wear the brand’s new ‘N’ badge (which, in­ci­den­tally, sym­bol­ises a chi­cane) and which will in fu­ture des­ig­nate its high-per­for­mance mod­els just as RS does for Re­nault and so on.

The i30 N is pow­ered by Hyundai’s two-litre tur­bopetrol en­gine and will be of­fered in two flavours: hot (184kW) and ex­tra hot (202kW). Both ver­sions pro­duce peak power at 6000rpm and both boast the same max­i­mum torque out­put of 353Nm.

Against the clock, the more pow­er­ful of the two will screech from zero to 100km/h in 6.1 sec­onds, ac­cord­ing to Hyundai, with the lesser tuned vari­ant tak­ing 6.4s. Both reach a pre­sum­ably nan­nied top speed of 250km/h.

There’s also a rev-match­ing ‘blip’ func­tion for down­shifts and (when fit­ted with the op­tional Per­for­mance Pack­age) a valve in the ex­haust sys­tem with a range of set­tings so you can give the i30 N a suit­ably au­thor­i­ta­tive voice when driv­ing en­thu­si­as­ti­cally - as well as eight per­cent ex­tra torque for six to seven per­cent ex­tra ac­cel­er­a­tion on over­boost.

Power goes to the front wheels (which are ei­ther 18” with Miche­lin rub­ber or 19” wear­ing Pirelli P Zero footwear with the op­tional Per­for­mance Pack­age) through a heavy-duty sports clutch and a sixspeed man­ual gear­box. Hyundai’s per­for­mance divi­sion is clearly aim­ing at the more tra­di­tional en­thu­si­ast here as there is, at this stage at least, no men­tion of a dual-clutch gear­box op­tion.

There are still plenty of mod­ern fea­tures to play with how­ever, in­clud­ing launch con­trol, a lap timer, G-Force meter, ad­justable damp­ing and five driver-se­lectable drive modes (Eco, Nor­mal, Sport, N and N Cus­tom), all set up and mon­i­tored on a stan­dard 15cm or op­tional 20cm tablet-style ‘float­ing’ cen­tre touch­screen.

Even the tra­di­tional ana­logue ap­pear­ance of the elec­tronic in­stru­ment clus­ter has been given a high-tech spin with a shift light at the top cen­tre of the panel and red zone on the rev counter that varies ac­cord­ing to the en­gine’s oil tem­per­a­ture, so that you don’t over-rev it when it’s cold.

Con­sid­er­able ef­fort has gone into the road hold­ing side of the equa­tion, with the i30 N prac­ti­cally hav­ing called the Nur­bur­gring home dur­ing much of its devel­op­ment phase. A rear-sus­pen­sion brace bar be­hind the rear seats is stan­dard is­sue, and when fit­ted with the op­tional Per­for­mance Pack­age it also comes with an elec­tronic lim­ited slip diff.

Cold-air ducts keep the front brakes cool un­der track-day con­di­tions and an elec­tronic sta­bil­ity pack­age uses selec­tive brak­ing to keep the car pointed in the right di­rec­tion dur­ing cor­ner­ing.

Con­sid­er­able ef­fort has gone into the han­dling of the i30 N.

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